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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  October 14, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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>> four hours, hello! take that, ohio. shockingly, some residents of louisville, the city that brought us muhammad ali, the kentucky derby, and the louisville slugger don't think the best way to promote their town is by goofing on erectile dysfunction. on the other hand, the lead creative consultant on the ad campaign said, if you don't take some risks with the message, they'll just be forgotten. he's got a point. what if they just go for it, do something like this. ♪ >> so is the message move to louisville, and you'll get busy? >> it certainly seems that way. we're not saying that won't happen. i mean, you know -- >> kent, thanks. >> sure. >> and thank you for watching tonight. i'm alison stewart in tonight for rachel. "countdown" with keith olbermann starts now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? going after their anti-trust exemption, the insurance cartel having pushed too far now invokes the wrath of eight
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democratic senators proposing stripping the industry of its rights to fix prices. american left. the meetings begin to merge the various senate bills. senator snowe will get a seat, waffling democrats who will not block a filibuster get a pass from the majority leader. >> i nor any other senator have the luxury of patching a perfect bill. i wish we could. >> congressman grayson wants more than wishing. a 90,000 signature petition urging public unity on the public option. he will be our special guest. showing them the problem up close and personal. free health care clinics in vegas, new orleans, little rock, you have now raised more than $800,000. you will be sponsoring health fairs like the one in houston, at which dr. mehmet oz volunteered and reported. >> what it really comes down to is being in the front lines, looking somebody in the eye and saying we care about you, you matter to us. >> what these free health care
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clinics will look like from dr. oz. have you ever seen a political party split itself in half before? now the tea bags go after republicans. snowe, susan collins warned, lindsey graham called a trader. traitor. >> yeah, right. >> and bring out your dad. start singing the praises of spam. it's the 40th anniversary of "monty python's flying circus." >> we really didn't know whether it would work for anyone. >> i will be joined live by john cleese, terry gilliam and terry jones. all of that and more on what thus might be the last episode of "countdown." >> it's just a flesh wound! good evening from new york, it is a concept so elemental from capitalism, the competition necessary for free trade prohibits by necessity abusive
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behavior by any one firm or group of firms, namely fixing prices, rigging bids or otherwise colluding to dominate the market, which would be antitrust laws. if it seems to you that the health industry has been allowed to behave outside of those anti-trust laws, that's because it has for the last 64 years. the insurance cartel, it's not a nickname, it's a real cartel, it's finally occurred to the senate that it might be the time to do something about that. the judiciary committee turning its attention to the mccarran-ferguson act, that has enabled to insurance industry to fix prices. that according to today's witnesses to the judiciary committee. last month chairman leahy, along with seven co-sponsors, having introduced the health insurance industry antitrust enforcement act of 2009. it would repeal the antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry. the cartel itself today claiming
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that the antitrust exemption allows it to keep costs down. which might be a better argument if the industry did keep costs down. senator schumer of new york among the many not buying that. >> i remain committed to the notion that only increased competition is going to give insurers the incentive they need to keep the costs down. removing the insurance companies anti-trust exemption is so important that i think we should all work with chairman leahy to make sure that it is part of our health reform bill. >> meanwhile, the cart that's been put before the horse, the health care reform bill that does not actually reform the insurance industry. majority leader reid today gathering the gl inin ining the merge the senate health bills. among them, finance chairman baucus, alglp chairman senator dodd and rahm emanuel. suggestions that senator snowe will be invited to future sessions.
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adding majority leader will go to lengths to keep the support from the senator from maine. senator reid already setting expectations fairly low for the final product, which is to be delivered from those meetings as well as for his ability to deliver votes. the majority leader pushing back against progressives who want to force conservative members of his party to vote with their party on the public option. public option, something that 77% of the public wants. something for which 51 senators, a majority, are prepared to vote. the majority leader's office saying in a statement, quote, senator reid is focused on crafting a health care bill that will overcome a republican filibuster, stripping democratic senators of their leadership titles is a decision that will be left up to the caucus, not senator reid. in light of this reality, it's unlikely the caucus will ever go along with this idea. then again, it is his job to make them go along. that is why it's called the leadership position. not that we even know who they are, senator reid, allowing any democratic senators now threatening to filibuster or not to block a filibuster to remain anonymous. the so-called silent filibuster of democrats.
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lots to talk about tonight, thus with florida congressman and internet sensation alan grayson. congressman, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, keith. the republicans say i sound just like you, i can't figure out if they're trying to insult me or insult you. >> i'm glad to have that assessment more than any other. unlike almost any other private business in this country, health insurance companies are allowed to engage in what can only be described as price fixing. do you think it might be time to change that? is it time to strip that antitrust exemption? >> it's long overdue. we should do it right now. >> could you use it in some way? is it better left partially intact? would it be a good wedge against the insurance companies? >> no. the insurance companies bought and paid for that favor from congress, and now we need to take it back. >> senator snowe cast one vote in favor of the baucus bill to get it out of committee.
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it was not needed to get it out of committee. she warns she might vote no later on and she gets a seat at the bill merger table, if not at the initial meetings then the subsequent ones. what is your response to that? >> her vote is coming at too xpech expensive of a price. the public option would save america almost $100 billion the employer mandate, just making large employers pay for -- the way 80% already do. that would save over $200 billion. isn't that a lot of money to pay for her vote? >> presumably there is not enough space at that table because only one senator that will be there is in favor of the pub option, mr. dodd. no progressive members, self-identifying the progressive members of the representatives. why do you think democrats in the senate seem to have dismissed or abandoned the public plan, the public option without even really trying for it? >> i don't think the democrats have. i think the leadership is letting them down. the leadership is placating the republicans and ideologues at
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the senate's interest. >> senator reid and senator dodd, after these reform discussions today. it's relatively boilerplate. but one there's one line that there were stronger incentives that a bill that can garner 60 votes in its attainable goal. is that the problem? is it being looked at entirely in many elements of our government as a political issue, how many votes can we get for this rather than an urgent crisis, sort of ultra critical health care problem? >> that's the problem. nobody in america cares about 60 votes. people in america care about saving lives and saving money. that's what we should be concentrating on. >> your four speeches have outlined quite eloquently i think how the republican opposition is in fact the problem in health care reform. are the democrats in the senate part of that problem, just as bad? where do they rank? i don't mean for you to throw them all under the bus, but -- >> they have to find the courage of their convictions or we have to find it for them. for months now it's like the
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billy idol song, we've been dancing with ourselves. now let's just get on with it. let's get the best that we can. if republicans want to make it clear to the public they don't want better health care for america, that's fine. the public will remember that. >> so how do you do it? how do you get them to dance? >> look, the democrats now 60 votes in the senate. it's not that complicated. get it over with, vote. >> but there's so many democrats who are almost as beholden as republican senators and many republican congressmen to the insurance lobby. what do we do about the pervasive influence in terms of campaign funds that have afflicted some of the smaller state senators even on the democratic side. >> we need campaign finance reform, but right now we need people to call. we need people to send e-mails. we need people to go to websites. we need people to insist on justice for the public. and that means comprehensive, universal and affordable health care in america. >> for some reason steven douglas' words come to mind here -- not steven douglas, frederick douglass' words, agitate, agitate, agitate. >> that's right. >> congressman alan grayson of
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florida, who contributed to that cause and greatly so. thank you for that and thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, keith. thank you very much, keith. for more on the politics of this situation, let's turn to our own howard fineman, senior washington correspondent to foreign "newsweek" magazine. howard, good evening. >> hi, keith. >> the number of people today who i found were astounded to learn that the insurance cartel, that's not just some clever, you know, wise ass remark that i made. it really is a cartel. the health insurance companies have this antitrust exemption. they had it since 1946. somebody who testified to the senate hearing today, testified that at least four previous occasions, the authorities have recommended -- the federal government has recommended eliminating or scaling back the antitrust exemption. congress has never taken that step, presumably because the industry owns the senate? >> well, partly that. they also own the states. >> yes. >> and they prefer it that way. by the way, it's not just
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antitrust laws, federal antitrust laws. it's the supreme court decision that was then followed up by that law in 1945. basically keeps the federal government out of the regulation of the insurance business. and what's happened in this country -- and we have talked about it a little on the show -- is that health insurance has grown out of life insurance, and partly because of that, a lot of these big companies that used to be life insurance companies have become health insurance managers, and, yes, they've taken advantage of that exemption from federal regulation to kind of have their way with the states for all of these years, and that's a big part of the problem that congress is confronting now. >> the other notable industry that has this exemption, many of us know that, that would be professional baseball, and over the years, i was implying to the congressman, over the years congress has had modest, very rarely used success getting baseball to jump through hoops to keep that exemption. could that be the best use of
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this? could that be the strategy here, threaten the exemption, restrict it in some ways but don't kill it so you always have that ax to go to or will it have to be ax time? >> it may have to be ax time. it's interesting chuck schumer's leading the parade here, the senator from new york. because it's new york and other states like connecticut and a couple other states, that have always played a huge role in the regulation of the insurance business. they don't want to give that up and schumer being from new york probably has some local interests and wouldn't want it to be given up. but the fact he's pushing as hard as he can now means all bets are off with the insurance business. a lot of other stakeholders remain at the table with rahm emanuel there in that room at least by proxy. but the insurance industry has declared war on the congress, and that's going to be a defining element from here on out. >> speaking of that table, why is senator snowe getting a seat at the bill merger table? >> by the way, in honor of "montsy python," i want to say that looked like a video clip of
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the ministry of silly walks. but i think olympia snowe will be in a side room at least initially. then she'll be part of it. she's part of it because as congressman grayson was saying, she's gotten an inordinate role in this because of the mathematics of the senate and because of the way the administration's approached this. you made a great point earlier, which is rahm emanuel said at the beginning of this process, remember he said let's never let a good crisis go to waste. that's one of the reasons they pushed health care to begin with but they haven't dealt with it or negotiated about it in crisis mode. they've negotiated as sort of backroom poker style and that's another reason why olympia snowe will be at that table. >> the candy aide statement from mr. reid and the later one from mr. reid, mr. baucus and mr. dodd that makes the same point tonight about needing 60 votes, about crafting a bill that can garner 60 votes and then said his caucus would go on.
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senator frist never had 60 votes. by the way, he's also a doctor, which would have helped if he had been on this side of the equation. he never much cared. when did dmemocrats start lookig for a new leader? is this it for harry reid one way or another? >> well, there's a lot of pressure on him. his answer and his aides' answers are these, the main number they give is that 60 number they are talking about. but i would also say barack obama, the president has spinal here, t a responsibility as i was saying. the way the white house has approached had this is to turn it all over to the congress and keep hands off publicly and really for the most part privately has made it more difficult for somebody like harry reid, who has enough problems in leadership of his own. if barack obama had, had a clear, definitive and tough initial bargaining position for a public option, for a sweeping program of some kind that was clearly defined and marketable, he would have made life a lot easier for harry reid. so now you have the combination of the president hanging back in
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harry reid trying to deal with an unimaginable congress. >> hurting cats. >> exactly. >> howard fineman of "newsweek" and msnbc. as always, great thanks. have a good night. >> thank you, keith. fortunately, there is leadership to be found somewhere, like in your mirror. the numbers continue to skyrocket. your donations to our hope of staging free health clinics in the five key cities represented by the six key democratic senators who might yet put the insurance industry out of the people who elected them. we will preview the two or three health care clinics you have already funded with dr. mehmet oz next. ever worn your clothes in the shower? if you're using other moisturizing body washes, you might as well be. you see, their moisturizer sits on top of skin, almost as if you're wearing it. only new dove deep moisture has nutriummoisture, a breakthrough formula with natural moisturizers...
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that can nourish deep down. it's the most effective natural nourishment ever. new dove deep moisture with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin. later, mindless protest proves it needs to be fed constantly. the tea bag boys going after senator lindsey graham, calling him a traitor. and 40 years ago today great britain was still trying to figure out the first two episodes of a bizarre tv series which already depicted pablo picasso winning a cycling race and showing an interview with a man who had three buttocks.
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all three join me to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "monty python's flying circus."
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approximately 83% of people who go to free health clinics nationwide do not fit the stereotype crafted so carefully by those who oppose reform. they are employed. they live in a country in which even that does not mean they, the ones who need it the most, can afford insurance. in our fourth story on the "countdown," as congress moves into the next phase of debate and dithering over health care reform, we revisit the ground war. dr. mehmet oz, a major volunteer and chronicler of the free
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health fair in houston will join me and update you on the truly impressive amount of money you have donated to help the national association of free clinics stage more events like the one in houston. nationwide, free clinics treated 4 million people in 2008 in this country. this year's total is expected to double. 2,000 people go free care in the one-day houston event as well. that is a record. 700 nurses and doctors volunteered their service that's day, including dr. oz, whose show on that extraordinary event will air tomorrow. >> we scheduled our doors to open at 7:00 a.m., but we were surprised by what we saw. people began arriving in the middle of the night. some traveled for hours. some came from just down the street. the first one in line was a single mother named karen. >> i work every day, you know, but it still doesn't make ends meet. i can't even keep my kids' health insurance for my children. >> for the next 12 hours, we were ready to see anyone who walked in. none of us could be completely
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prepared for the stories we would hear. >> and the latest update on our call to donate to the national association of free clinics, more than 10,500 people have responded. you have donated more than $817,000. that would pay for three free health fairs, depending on whether or not venues are donated and the biggest cost is securing those arena-size venues. right now new orleans and little rock are the focus. any help securing a large facility in either city will go a long way and the money go much, much further. the goal is hold the health fairs in five key cities in five key states represented by democratic senators who have not yet said they will oppose a filibuster of the public option. more details at freeclinics.u.s. or at "countdown".msnbc.com. joining us is cardiac surgeon, doctor and author of "the dr. oz show," dr. oz. >> thank you, keith. >> you called this a national catastrophe.
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the story is the big picture s. there a story that epitomizes it for you? >> i will bring one alive for you that shocked me. as heart patients, i do surgery a lot of time. the mother of a 14-year-old who works, like many every we saw, working mother, five kids. the baby has a hole in her heart. ways taking care of her, doing an echocardiogram on the rodeo floor of the lions center where the texans were to play the next day. it was a shocking reality to me. i thought i would practice in tents once in a while. i deposit thiidn't think it wou in this country. it wasn't a national ka stas traafy. what hurts me the most, you used the phrase dithering, a health care plan. what we should be doing is putting a face on the reality of the uninsured americans represent to us. >> we mentioned the event in houston that was a one-day record and you have understandably called that a dubious honor. as great as that was, is there a way to quantify the shame that is involved in this, that we are
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as wonderful and outpouring as these things represent from the donors to you guys in the field, is there a way to quantify how far behind we are relative to where we should be on this? >> just put numbers on it, you pointed out we will take care of 8 million people in the free clinics. last year when i started doing free clinics, it was 4 million. last year no one heard of it. took care of about 2 million. the social network of our nation has been through free clinics. in fairness, i was incredibly honored and i want to celebrate the 700 people who donated their time, who realize they have to help their fellow man. but it's an embarrassment, it's shameful when you have almost 1,800 people coming out when we didn't do that much to get the word out for the free clinic. they are desperate, cling to any help they can get. keith, when they look you in the eyes, they're ashamed. they feel that they're invisible. can you not have a healthy society if you're not a wealthy society. and these are like ships crashing in the shore. we still have to pay to put the
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pieces together but if you gave them a dock to come into, it would make a lot more sense. >> the whistle-blower, wendtal potter, the pr man from cigna and who has gone completely to the other side, unlocking the ministries of what the insurance industry has done all this time, was turned essentially by going to a free clinic. would you, if you had your choice of doing one thing with every legislator for an hour in the rest of their lives, would it be to take them to one of these things? >> without question. by the way, i know a fair amount about health care because i studied it my entire life and i'm very passionate about doing the the right thing. what i want our legislators to realize, the challenge we face is not which health care plan to choose, we have to pick a plan and move on. the biggest mistake we can make is not providing support to these folks who don't have any other hope. we can always readjust the plan. we can always micromanage programs. no one really knows how it's going to work. but if we don't help people to provide the care they need, we will pay a lot more than we would have in the beginning. >> what specifically that we don't know should we know about the importance of the health care clinics?
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in the field, what last word do you have on it? >> the last word is when we have these folks wandering into free clinics and they're costing us a lot of money once they get ill, we're not giving them a chance to get back on top. most americans think that people go to free clinics are very different from them. ed adams is one of the first people we talk about in the show tomorrow. he had a six-figure job last year. he made one wrong turn. one wrong turn. these are not people who have been adults their lives. they are like you and me. all they want is to be seen as human beings. it is i think a very patriotic thing to provide them a support system. >> what we're doing here, forgive me for including myself in this, but what you are doing here and what the people involved in this directly from the association are doing, is just triage. that's the tragedy aside of it. >> we are putting a finger on the trigger point. there's no ownership in this. really, i'm embarrassed we set a record. nobody wants to set that record. we have to embrace this together. the good news is, we can do it. >> maybe if we get to the point
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snob shows up, that would be an honor. >> if we don't treat these people at human beings and focus on the politics of treating. dr. mehmet oz, the host of "the dr. oz show," his special on this is tomorrow. thank you for coming in. >> thanks what you do for the national association. >> my honor. one week ago tonight we devoted an entire program to the special comment on this subject, health care reform, fight against death y. there is such hysteria. we're going to reair that special comment this friday, day after tomorrow. tonight the reform opponents appear to be like sharks. they must keep moving forward to survive. thus they are now attacking conservatives. lindsey graham called a traitor to his face. also like sharks, the tea bag crew often lives in its own toil toilet. announcer: today, guys with erectile dysfunction can be ready with another dosing option from cialis. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. so relax and take your time. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications
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"bests" in a moment. and an art exhibit highlighting pitch black darkness can result in only one thing -- head injuries. first on this date in 1586, mary queen of scotts went on trial in a charge of conspiracy against que elizabeth, leading to the "monty python" sketch in which they are life is dramatized called "the death of mary queen of scotts," which consists of them asking, you are mary, queen the scotts? she answered, i am. which then follows sound effects and screams. and then a voice, i think she's dead. to which she says, no, i'm not. and the sound effects resume. let's play "oddball." yes, their version is funny. we begin in lincoln county, maine. alert the media. this pumpkin is at the end of its rope. don't do it, pumpkin! hundreds of folks gathering for
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an opportunity to watch giant pumpkins end it all into an old police car. that's for last month's speeding ticket, officer devit. and then it's a 200-foot drop to vegetable heaven. a quick survey shows nine out of ten pumpkin phones agree a great way to spend the afternoon but a very inefficient way to make pumpkin pie. to india, where world renowned sand artist darshan is hard at work. his latest master piece attributed to mr. obama's nobel prize. he's buried up to his neck. get him out of there. the 40-foot-high and sculpture is on display at a local beach. three times the sand to create the likeness. he hopes it will inspire others at least until the tide comes in. next up -- an oil painting of governor mark sanford being awarded frequent flier miles. tonight the unexpected fun from the tea bag boy that's sooner or later have to turn on
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their own. welcome to sooner, lindsey graham. these stories ahead. first, time for top three best persons in the world. the manage are for wendy's on 103rd street, somebody put something in the oven in sarah's sewed soda and she got sick and called 911. she was reprimanded. i was told having the police there damaged the public perception of wendy's. not as much as having an employee who tried to poison the assistant manager damaged it. nor probably as much as having an idiot as a district manager, managed and damaged it. "dateline" london. number two best poorly thought out art exhibit. "how it is" at the taped marden gala at the city, the 100-foot long steel box. it's pitch black inside and lined with life absorbing material. in other words, you can't see a damn thing once you're inside of it. one art lover promptly walked head first into the brick wall in the back and was escorted to the nasal injury hall.
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"dateline" washington. number one best do-over. republican chairman michael steele, who changed the name of his blog from "what up" to "change the game." apparently they all thought "what up" made steele sound like a 12-year-old kid. the new choice, "change the game" won out over such other suggestions as from the movie "a mighty wind," "hey, what happened?" ♪ changes ♪ turn and face the strength paws. check. bottom. needs work. sorry, son. [ female announcer ] you can't pass inspection with pieces left behind.
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home video is now making the rounds of south carolina republican senator lindsey graham being savaged at a town hall as a fake republican. and so our third story tonight, we get to see what real republicans, the newer republican party looks like. the website on the issues.org calls lindsey graham, quote, a hard core conservative but that's not hard core enough. in the new republican party, that makes you a rhino. republican in name only. so mixing metaphors, rhino hunter showed up with a toilet bowl outside graham's hometown
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monday. inside the message was clear. sometimes graham is bipartisan and the new republican party hates bipartisanship. >> ooh, that was a great question! >> which would, of course, put the democrats even further in the majority, genius. 100% ratings in the national coalition for life party, sorry, 100% not snuff in the pro-life party where you must oppose every pro-life judge, qualified or not. >> pushing back against ron paul
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supporters, senator graham reminded them that paul called president bush a war criminal, only to learn that on some issues, some new republicans have moved so far right, they are now left. >> and your mom. ultimately, however, it is not ron paul but their god who moves the new republican party. a god who believes what they believe and wants those believes imposed oth imposed over others over the constitution over you, a god whose morality is absolute. >> god does not compromise. >> amen. if it's wrong, you vote against it. >> amen! >> this is the new republican party rejecting a republican senator, a military prosecutor, one who was pro death penalty,
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pro warrantless wiretaps, school prayer and drilling in anwar, one who was anti-gay marriage, kyoto protocols, hatous corpus, gun control, one who led the clinton impeachment in the house, co-chaired the mccain/palin campaign, rated 11% by the naacp and 0% by the human rights campaign and aclu, rated 82% by the american conservative union. not enough for the new republican party. all three guys, a lesson arlen specter and lindsey graham have learned, a lesson lost only on democrats who still seek bipartisanship with a newspap republican party that spits on it. but on to the people who brought us the original silly party. it is the 40th anniversary of "monty python's flying circus." a majority of the surviving members joins me here live, as opposed to whatever the purgatorial half-life is as lone som beck lingers. politico did some checking on how often he has been more concerned about afghanistan. not pretty.
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and when "the rachel maddow show" begins at the top of the hour, congressman barney frank on the new outrage over the latest round of massive bonuses, the ones set to go to the same people who brought us, yes, the financial collapse. e? is the glass half-empty or half-full? well, with ups, you could eliminate warehouses. streamline your supply chain, and even reach new global markets. so your business is more adaptable, more efficient and more profitable. hey, the opportunities are out there. seize them with ups. is anybody else thirsty? with lotion and a touch of shea butter. it's more soothing than plain tissue, why use any other? a nose in need, deserves puffs plus indeed.
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just choose a style that fits your business, and customize, publish, and get found in three easy steps. ( register bell dings ) sweet. all for just $4.99 a month. get a 30-day free trial at intuit.com. bill-o claims fixed news never acted as cheerleaders for bush in iraq. lonesome roads beck raises fears about raising fears. and one of its leaders claims after prop 8, the mormon church has been treated like achk americans in the south in the '60s. weapons weapon"worst person and then john cleese, john gilliam joins me celebrating the 40th anniversary of "monty python." i'm okay with cutting back a little,
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i get whiter teeth that lasts for 12 months. all from one little box, i say that's a pretty good deal. crest whitestrips advanced seal. the no slip white strips. next -- live coverage of the all-england summarized competition. our commentators john cleese, john gill yum and terry jones to discuss the "monty python's flying circus" and golf, strangling items and first time for "countdown's" number two story. tonight's "worst persons in the world." the bronze, to elder dahlen h. oakes of the quorum of the 12 apostles of the church of latter-day saints. he told apostles at bringham young high school that the california prop 8 atmosphere was akin to blacks in the south during the civil rights movements. he also said, quote, the newly alleged civil rights of same-gender couple to enjoy the privileges of marriage.
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he said those who seek the foundation of marriage should not pretend not to be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights. one would thing with the mormon's history having previously been on the wrong side of immigration and wrong side of the pesky order of one woman for marriage that these are subjects about which elder oakes would want to shut the hell up. runners-up, bill-o the clown and brit hume of fixed news that said, quote, when he was in trouble in iraq in iraq, this network and this program routinely hammered president bush on iraq. said brit, we were faithful about covering all the of the bad new that's koim out iraq. and said bill-o, there was no cheerleadering. which universe was this necessity again? he said bush put america on an amazing foreign policy path. said this last year. o'reilly said the only reason organizations were covering bad news from iraq was, quote, they want tomorrow barse the bush administration. do you care if another bomb went
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off in tikrit? there's little news value in broadcasting daily bombings. he said that two years ago. but our winner, lonesome roads beck. this is terrific stuff. he installed a red phone on his set supposedly so the white house could call to complain about fox news, since it is n. his words, quote, more worried about the war on fox than the actual war in afghanistan. ben smith at politico.com thought he would find out how often beck was more worried about the actual war in afghanistan. he did a nexus search of beck's scripts since beck went on fox in january. 97 references to afghanistan, 38 more to the taliban. compared to marxism, 127 wrenches, community organizers, 167, the seiu, 259, liberals, 272, communists, 330, socialists, 404, czars, 533 and a.c.o.r.n., 1,224 references. that's 135 beck references to afghanistan and the taliban and just 3,316 beck references to
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a.c.o.r.n. and other sleaze bag smears on the president and his supporters. so exactly who is more worried about the war on fox than the actual war in afghanistan? lonesome roads beck. that's who, today's "worst person in the world!" ah, fresh. minty. handsome! mmm, minty. mindy? beautiful, isn't it? breathtaking.
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if you're not familiar with the members and the work of "monty python," you missed 40 years of brilliance and you have never seen this show before as the board of irresponsible people claim i have stolen 30% of all of my material over the years from them. our number one story, john cleese, terry gilliam and jerry
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jones join me to include a documentary that is called "kbloint python xlon almost the truth." most instructors for the devotees, the doubt 40 years ago, the doubt that this was all funny, the doubt coming from the performers. >> i still remember as gray and terry jones did that very first of all of our sketches, which was about the sheep that could fly. >> well, governor. >> art. >> lovely day, isn't it? >> i remember michael and i had a conversation in the dressing room just beforehand and i said to him, do you realize, michael, we could be the first people in history to do a 30-minute comedy show to complete silence. and he said to me, i was having the same thought. >> as promised, and already having started the interview without me, in order, terry jones, john cleese, and terry gilliam, three-fifths of the surviving membership of "monty
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python's flying circus." it's beyond an honor for me, gentlemen. why a documentary -- another documentary. this is the 117th rather than just a documentary on all of the previous documentaries. >> i will tell you the real reason, because his son was one of the producers and it would be bad to say no. >> a bit of arm-twisting. actually, i didn't want to do a documentary. nobody wanted to do a documentary. but my son bill said come on, dad. we have to do a documentary. >> if anybody would have the right, i suppose, to push you into it, correct? >> i suppose. it's fantastic. it's like a totally different take on the whole thing. and it's like, it's a brilliant piece. >> first time we have gotten paid for talking about ourselves. >> yeah. >> when somebody said, "python speaks," the interview, i thought not again. but when it came out and i read
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it, i thought this was really good. i enjoyed reading it. these people have terrible memories and hearing their versions is just hilarious. >> i only have to land the faith. >> it's life is a bowl of cherries for 40 years, is it not? >> like john in the documentary said when it's the concorde in "the holy grail," and -- that we -- terry and i, somebody said bhe best performance. no, there's not enough smoke! it's perfectly wrong. there's too much smoke. so that's why we had to do it again and we had to reshoot it. >> we had to get the smoke right. >> no, no, no, no! >> comedy depends on smoke, john. >> certainly they couldn't see it wasn't too much of a shock. >> all they wanted was to make
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me -- >> we tried. we really tried. >> given the sense of gravitas. >> so six hours of this? >> yes. >> what i don't understand, marvelous new documentary using original source material on the kennedy assassination by the history channel, spectacular. it's two shows, it takes two shows to go through the entire kennedy assassination. you guys need six hours? i'm the biggest fan you ever had, and six hours of this? am i being paid to watch this? >> you just notice the world has gone mad. that's very perceptive of you. >> and all of us having this dialogue completely separate from each other. what's better than when we talk to each other in the flesh. >> when there's cameras on i disagree because obviously it's much tighter and the product is much better. but i have to ask at least one serious question in about 40 years of this, if you have doubts, as expressed in the clip we played about your concerns about the first recording, why not specifically did all of it work, but why did it work here?
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it certainly september timeless -- the tv show was not timeless and there were political references. half the people who saw it didn't get an edward heath joke then let alone now. why does it still hold up, terry? >> the token american was necessary to translate the work to this great nation of minds formally. >> two things we did. i think some of it was genuinely original. and i think that we somehow seemed to write sort of types that people recognized in different culture. people would say we have funny people like that in our culture, too. >> we were just writing for ourselves and just making ourselves laugh and that got under the net. fortunately in america, a small -- it's always a small percentage of people who found it funny. but in america, it's a huge
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amount of people. >> in america. but you raise a great point because other comedy heroes, bob elliot and ray ghouling, the american group. chris elliot was bob elliot's son and he has a granddaughter on "saturday night live" now. it's a family essentially of traditional comedians here. they said, bob told me once the whole point of their comedy team was to be on the radio live every day for three or four hours and try to make the other one laugh uncontrollably on the fair. so much of this is sort of the side effect, the show is a side effect of a desperate attempt to set each other off a little bit as has been demonstrated here tonight with you two gentlemen? is that it? it's private just put on stage? >> you won't believe this. my recollection -- i will have to check now. i'm much too old to know really but my recollection is we did not have any idea what the viewing figure was. >> there was no interest. there was also no managers, no agents, no executives. nobody died -- >> it was only after like show
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four or five we got any feedback and they said there's a lot of letters coming into the bbc from schoolchildren. and that was the first feedback. otherwise we were just doing it in a vacuum. >> we made four or five shows before any was transmitted. >> you know what's interesting in america, any time i come here and talk to people, their children, their son or daughter just discovered "python." the magic age seems to be 11. and i don't understand this, why at 11 bright kids suddenly -- there's an epiphany. they suddenly see this world, whatever it is we created. and it communicates to them. and they think this is the smartest, funniest stuff. >> and also as a formerly as an 11-year-old, although i was introduced to "python" about 15, the idea was always from our perspective i think that you represented to kids a realization that some adults recognized how dumb the other adults were. and that it was a crazy world. there was -- there was nobody to rely upon. you better figure it out fast because you're going to go into this. >> somebody said after they watched "monty python" they were unable to watch the news.
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>> now, that begs the question. i mentioned this many times. i found this last year during the primaries, co-anchoring the primary coverage one night that we had gotten into the exact cadence of your election night sketch from 1970 with phones ringing and people yelling at each other and pointless observations and guys waving to their mom and all of the rest of that. i just thought, this must be a fairly sign of influence from the group after awful these years. but there must have been something even weirder than that. where else did you resonate that sort of may have horrified you or worried you? anything at all? >> that's a good question. >> all right. but i gave it to john in advance. remember, we talked about this before the show, an hour and a half ago. >> margaret thatcher! >> oh, yes. >> sorry, yes! you couldn't have phrased it. i know -- maggie thatcher's foreign policy adviser very
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well, he's a friend. and i do know that at one point maggie thatcher had a speech to make at the conservative party conference and she wanted to say that the third party, the liberal democrats, were dead. >> right. >> so they rewrote for her the dead parents' sketch. >> oh, no, no, no. >> yes. and she didn't think it was the slightest bit funny. she didn't even realize it was comedy material. it could have been mongolian to her. and then they had to teach her how to say, you know, how to stress things and the cadences and where to take the applause. and they really coached her because when she did it, it was absolutely terrible. when you have someone with no sense of humor at all, they just can't do it. and so it did not -- did not register very well. >> we did think about suing her for -- >> oh, imagine. >> cheap material. infringement of copyright. >> then we said she was